Sunday, June 19, 2011

Paris, Je t'aime

The bf and I just got back from a 8 night trip to Europe.  We spent 3 nights in London and then 5 nights in Paris.  Oh, how I have missed Paris.  As expected, we had an amazing time.  Ate amazing food.  Saw amazing sights.

We flew from Seattle to London through JFK.  We arrived in London town late afternoon and checked into our hotel, The Bloomsbury Hotel in Covent Garden.  Each of us took a Slam and headed out the door to walk around Covent Garden.  Many glasses of vino were consumed over the next few hours.  We decided to go low key for dinner and had Italian (we shared a super yummy rocket covered pizza.)  The next morning we decided to head out and do something touristy so we took the Original Bus Tour (which I also took in 2008 when there with my mom.)  It is a great way to get acquainted with the city and see the sights!  That night we had Lebanese/Moroccan food which was blah.  The BF dropped his meat on the floor and still picked it up and ate it.  I'm still disgusted by this!

Our final full day in London the weather was horrible!  POURING down rain and freezing.  I did not bring enough warm clothes, thinking it wouldn't be any colder than it is in Seattle.  Mistake.  We took the tube to Harrods and walked around for a couple of hours.  I also spent hours tracking down these platforms in my size from Zara (we went to about four different Zaras!)  That night we went to dinner at St. John.  Oh.  My.  God.  We looked up Anthony Bourdain's recommendations and this one did NOT disappoint.  Now, this is not a great post for vegetarians..... but at least all of the cow is getting used.  Yes, we ate bone marrow.  And loved it.  I have had bone marrow many times before, but the BF refused to taste it the last time it was served to me in LA.  I was shocked he liked it as he isn't a super adventurous eater.  The atmosphere was fantastic, the staff helpful.  All in all a truly great experience.

The next morning we got up early and headed to the train station where we took the two hour twenty minute train ride into Paris.  We arrived in Paris and I could hardly contain my excitement!  We got a taxi and proceeded to our apartment in the Marais.  Of course, in true Parisian fashion, there was a demonstration at the Place de la Republique.  Our taxi could not proceed so we got out.  I immediately bought a map (Excusez-moi, avez-vous un plan de Paris?)  We hoofed it with all of our bags to our apartment!  I have only stayed in hotels (some really horrible hotels and some OK hotels) and dorms (the grossest place on earth) in Paris but never an apartment.  The BF has a friend who owns this apartment and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking to stay longer than a few nights in Paris.

After we got settled, we went to the store to stock up on some yogurt, fruit and deli meat for breakfast.  (Protein is a must with all that walking.)  That night we went to a fresh fish market for dinner and went to bed early.  Traveling can be exhausting!

The next morning we had coffee (cafe creme pour moi, s'il vous plait) and an omelette.  Apparently they were out of croissant?  This was the ONLY time anyone was rude to us our entire vacation!  I still don't believe there weren't any croissants!  We then walked over to the Louvre to meet two of the BF's law school friends who recently quit their jobs and moved to France to go to school.  Jealous!  That night we went to Fontaine des Mars (where the Obamas ate) and had super yummy food.  We had the "floating island" for dessert, which is this almost  meringue like creation (it must have been made out of whipped egg whites) on top of caramel.  To die for.

Monday when we woke up we took le metro down to the Champs Elysees for lunch and walked up to the Arc de Triomphe.  After that we decided that we needed some rest so back to the apartment we went, where we napped and got ready for dinner.  That night we ate in the Marais again at a local French place.  We also decided that we were going to take a trip to Strasbourg for Tuesday night to enjoy a place outside of Paris and so the BF could see more of France.  I checked to make sure we could get the train that night.

Tuesday morning we packed up for the night and headed to the train station.  When we got there the train we wanted to take was full!!!  There wasn't another train until that afternoon so we scratched the trip to Strasbourg, headed back to the apartment to drop off our stuff, then went to the Latin Quarter and went shopping!  I mostly did window shopping that day and we didn't go in many stores.  I LOVE Save the Queen, which they don't have in Seattle, but couldn't justify buying anything while on an already spendy trip.  That night we booked a dinner cruise on the Seine.  It was a nice experience and quite romantic ;-)

Our final full day in Paris we decided to go to lunch at L'Atelier.  It was AMAZING.  The best lunch I have probably ever had.  And a great way to spend the last afternoon in Paris.  Afterwards we went shopping (again) and this time I did buy a super cute necklace and a dress.  Of course, it has been too cold in Seattle to wear the dress, but hopefully we'll get some warm weather soon.

Now, I'm back in Seattle and very much looking forward to my "staycation" next week.  I have a week full of pampering and self-care.  I have days of yoga, reading, cooking clean eats and crossfit ahead of me.  I'm not sure I'm going to want to go back to the office after this!

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